If you’re a beer fanatic like I am, you’re in luck. Researchers say that beer can help neurological disorders like dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Does this mean the human race should frolic to the bars and load up on beer? Probably not. But according to ACS’ Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, the components in beer could protect brain cells from damage and are worth looking into to further prevent brain diseases.
This study, led by Jianguo Fang and his team from Lanzhou University, investigated the beer component Xanthohumol – an active component that is found in both hops and beers. It’s not surprising that this particular beer component is getting media hype because it’s a part of the flavonoid family (metabolites found in plants). Anyways, the flavonoid family often gets praise for creating components that have health benefits like red wine, chocolate, and berries.
During the investigation, Fang and his team took neurons from a rat’s brain, placed them in a dish with active Xanthohumol. According to IFL Science, the investigators “damaged [the neurons] through oxidated stress. Not only did it scavenge damaging reactive molecules, but it also resulted in the upregulation of certain protective genes, called cytoprotective genes, which shield cells from oxidative stress and stress-related diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and inflammation.”
Before you go swapping your water for your favorite ale or blond, more research will be needed to know exactly how the beer can benefit the brain. But in the meantime, do your own research. Cheers!